Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

Sister and Other Church Relationships

In harmony with the principles of holy Scripture and our Three Forms of Unity, the PRC through its Committee for Contact with Other Churches maintain full sister church relationships with two foreign churches and a corresponding relationship with one other foreign denomination.

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland (86)

Website

83 Clarence Street,

Ballymena BT42 3NR, Northern Ireland

Services: 11:00 A.M. & 6:00 P.M.

RevAStewart

Pastor: Rev. Angus Stewart

7 Lislunnan Rd.

Kells, Ballymena, Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland BT42 3NR

Phone: (from U.S.A.) 011 (44) 28 25 891 851

pastor@cprc.co.uk

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Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (93)

CERCS 30thanniv 2017 group

Website

11, Jalan Mesin #04-00

Standard Industrial Building

Singapore 368813

Worship Services: 9:30 A.M. & 2:00 P.M. 

AdenHartog

Pastor (Interim): Rev. Arie denHartog

148 Bishan Street 11 #06-113 

Singapore  570148

pastor@cerc.org.sg

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Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (EPC) (2)

For information on this small Presbyterian denomination in Australia with whom the PRCA have a "corresponding relationship", visit their website.

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New Salt Shakers Magazine - March 2018

SS 48 March 2018 Page 1

"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the March 2018 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#48),their youth magazine.

The March 2018 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and instructive articles, and our PRC young people especially are encouraged to make it part of their reading content.

Below you will find a note from the "SS" Committee introducing the contents of this issue and images of the cover and table of contents. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.

Beloved Readers,

 Salt Shakers is pleased to bring you Issue 48!
 We continue our consideration of the important calling of holiness in our lives. May God give us the grace to live out this calling unto Him.
 Do give our Bible riddle a try, it's a tough one! You may email us to check if you've got the answer, or wait till it is revealed in the next issue!
 Our heartfelt appreciation also goes to all our writers for their contributions to Salt Shakers!
In the March 2018 issue:
The Necessity of Reforming the Church by John Calvin Aaron Lim
Scripture's Covenant Youth (XI): David - Prof. Herman Hanko
Are Unbelievers in God's Image? (VI) - Rev. Angus Stewart
Holiness as Young Adults (I) - Wee Gim Theng
Life in the Seminary -Josiah Tan
A Letter to My Unforgiving Self (II) - Marcus Wee
Book Review: Little White House in IowaEmily Lanning
The Great Flood - Lisa Ong
The Pressure of Busyness on the Covenant Family - Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Reformed Polemics for the Reformed Believer (II) - Rev. Nathan Langerak
Rejoicing and Weeping Together (II)  - Lim Yang Zhi
Called to be Saints - Daisy Lim

Remember to pass the salt!

Pro Rege,
Chua Lee Yang, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee
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Covenant Reformed News - March 2018

 

Covenant Reformed News

March 2018  •  Volume XVI, Issue 23



Reformed Ecclesiology: Costly but Worth It!

A major reason for the widespread disinterest in ecclesiology and the low views that many hold regarding Christ’s church is that ecclesiology is often, from a very practical perspective, the most costly truth for evangelical Protestants.

Consider the various elements in the biblical, Reformed and confessional doctrine of the church: God’s election, gathering and preservation of the church; Christ’s sole headship over His church; the four attributes of the church (spiritual unity, true holiness, scriptural catholicity and biblical apostolicity); the three marks of a true church (faithful preaching, sacramental administration and discipline); the three offices of the church (pastor, elder and deacon), excluding lay preaching (Westminster Larger Catechism, Q. & A. 158) and women office-bearers (I Tim. 2:11-15); covenantal or household baptism (Acts 16:15, 31-33); the catechetical instruction of the children of believers; close communion supervised by the elders; the regulative principle of worship (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. & A. 96); etc.

In our day of the drift and departure of many churches, even a brief statement of these ecclesiological topics is enough to scare many. “But my church falls a long way short of this!” many are compelled to confess. “There is no way I can honestly call my congregation a ‘pillar and ground of the truth’ (I Tim. 3:15).” Thus the believer feels the heavy burden of the difficult calling to engage in church reformation. This involves earnest praying to the Lord of the church, humbly protesting erroneous congregational or denominational doctrines and/or practices, and, if necessary, suffering at the hands of a church that does not want to be admonished regarding its departures from God’s truth. “There is no point even trying to reform my church,” many immediately lament. “There is no way that they will listen! My congregation does not even have proper biblical and Reformed procedures for protesting!”

Others, who are not even in a church or who realize that they need to leave their false or departing churches, know that they ought to join a faithful congregation. This also brings up a number of hardships, hardships which many, sadly, are not willing to bear for the sake of Jesus Christ (cf. Luke 14:25-35). “This would mean the loss of friendships!” laments one. “But then I’d have a much longer drive to church,” complains another. “Then I’d have to move house!” exclaims a third. “I would need to leave my country!” yells another, throwing his hands into the air in despair. “What would all this mean for my spouse, my children, my job, my relatives, etc.?” 

“Sure, I would drive further for my dream job or move house for a better paying position. Admittedly, I would not see some friends and family so much, yet it would be worth it. But suffer these losses in order to become a member of a true church—never, that is way too much!” In short, many think that their earthly bread, worldly treasures and physical family count for more than spiritual bread, treasures in heaven and the family of God. The Lord Jesus teaches us true priorities: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

The cost of obeying Reformed ecclesiology is even borne out if one compares the relative unpopularity of the subject of Christ’s church (ecclesiology) with those, say, of salvation (soteriology) or the end times (eschatology). The latter attract greater attendance at lectures and more sales of books or box sets of CDs or DVDs than the former. Who wants to hear, watch or read about a difficult, if not “impossible,” calling regarding the church, especially when it may involve so many aspects of our lives? Ecclesiology is often, so to speak, where the rubber hits the road, where mere talk ends.

To help us all grasp the biblical perspective—that is, God’s perspective!—on all this, let us consider Psalm 87, a Zion psalm which is ultimately about the “Jerusalem which is above” (Gal. 4:26), which is manifested in faithful congregations.

In Psalm 87:1, we read, “His foundation is in the holy mountains.” The physical foundation that God laid for Zion bespeaks its firmness, its elevation and its fortification. The spiritual foundation of the church is her crucified and risen Saviour: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11). The unconditional election of the church and her true spiritual members in Christ is also spoken of in this way: “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his” (II Tim. 2:19).

Psalm 87:2 asserts, “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob” (cf. 78:67-68). Clearly, God loves the devout assemblies of His people more than the flat of one believer or the home of a Christian family. We should too, even to the point of moving house, if need be, so that we and our families enter “the gates of Zion” twice every Lord’s day with a good conscience, confident of the abiding presence of the living God with His worshipping and faithful church.
 
Thus we read in the Heidelberg Catechism, “What doth God require in the fourth commandment? First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained; and that I, especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest, diligently frequent the church of God, to hear His word, to use the sacraments, publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of the poor, as becomes a Christian. Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by His Holy Spirit in me; and thus begin in this life the eternal sabbath” (Q. & A. 103).

Psalm 137:5-6 is very forceful: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” That is, what is the point in using all one’s skill with a musical instrument or being able to sing like a prima donna, without love for, and membership in, a true church? Each child of God must be able to say that this is “above my chief joy.”

“Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God” (87:3). It will not do for us, as Jehovah’s people, merely to utter nice things or pleasant sentiments about the church. “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God”—by Jehovah, by Scripture, by other believers and by me too! I must not only express this in words but also in very deed, by doing all I can to join a faithful congregation and serve in her as a living member.

Psalm 87:4-6 speaks three times of the new birth or the grace of regeneration: “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there.” 

Notice here that the new birth is spoken of in connection with the church: “this man was born there ... And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her … this man was born there.” Elsewhere we learn that the elect are regenerated according to the sovereign will of the Triune God (John 1:13; 3:8; James 1:18) and in connection with the preaching of His Word (I Pet. 1:23-25).
 
Psalm 87:4-6 also indicates that it speaks of the New Testament church. Verse 4 refers to “Rahab” (or Egypt), “Babylon,” “Philistia,” “Tyre” and “Ethiopia”—Gentiles!

Out of the gift of spiritual life, through the new birth of each and every member of God’s catholic or universal church, comes congregational worship: “As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there” (7). What a beautiful scene: the church praising Jehovah out of renewed hearts!

The believer, addressing God’s beloved church, proclaims, “all my springs are in thee” (7). This is the Christian confession concerning the God who regenerates us in connection with His church. The God who gives us new life through the new birth also strengthens us with the bread of life (Jesus Christ) and the water of life (the Holy Spirit), through the two official means of grace (the preaching of the Word and the two holy sacraments) which He has placed in His church. 

Admittedly, it is costly (to our sins and earthly-mindedness) to join, remain in and serve in a true church. Yes, it is costly but it is well worth it! It is cheap (being easy on the flesh and requiring no holy sacrifices) to remain outside the church or in a false or departing congregation. But is very costly for your witness (you have nowhere, or nowhere good, to bring anyone who is willing to hear the gospel) and for your own spiritual life, your spouse and your children (Ruth 1:20-21)! Remember that haunting Word of God: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hos. 4:6).   Rev. Stewart
 

“Ye Will Not Come to Me”

“Is not Jesus in John 5:40 (“And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life”) expressing disappointment or frustration that some refused to ‘come’ to Him? Does not this text express a desire or wish of Christ that these individuals receive Him and so ‘have life’ and be saved (although ultimately these individuals perished)? Does not this verse imply that redemption and salvation were available to those who perished in their sins, if only they had come to Christ and received Him (i.e., a universal, hypothetical redemption available for all, upon condition of repentance and faith)?”

In the last sentence, the questioner describes a position known as Amyrauldianism. Shortly after the great Synod of Dordt (1618-1619), this error arose in France. It was taught in a somewhat different form in England and this view was represented at the Westminster Assembly by several delegates. It was advocated also in Scotland and is said to have been adopted by the Marrow Men. The view of the Marrow Men was condemned by the General Assembly of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. It was also rejected by the Westminster Assembly, although not by name. The Westminster Confession says that Christ died for “the elect only” (3:6; cf. 8:8).

The questioner asks whether John 5:40 does not express disappointment or frustration on Jesus’ part that they did not come to Him. Such a view, that of the well-meant offer, which holds that God earnestly desires to save the reprobate, immediately raises the question: Can the incarnate Son of God who is “very God of very God” be frustrated? He created the worlds and upholds them, giving life and being to every creature. He frustrated? He does whatever pleases Him (Ps. 115:3; 135:6)!

The answer to the reader’s question is, even on the surface, a resounding NO. Here Jesus states a simple fact concerning these hard-hearted Jews: “ye will not [i.e., do not wish or want to] come to me.” In the context, Christ explains that they cannot trust in Him because they seek honour from men not God (John 5:44), do not have “the love of God in” them (42) and do not even really believe the five books of Moses (46-47).

In brief, as our confessions teach, especially the Canons of Dordt, the preaching of the gospel comes with two things: 1) the promise that whoever believes in Christ will be saved; 2) the command that comes promiscuously to all men to repent of their sins and trust in the Saviour (II:5). For more, you could read my book, Corrupting the Word of God, which deals with the history of the well-meant offer, as well as theological and exegetical issues (available from the CPRC Bookstore for £16.50, inc. P&P).

You can ask, of course, “Doth not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in His law that which he cannot perform?” The answer is, “Not at all; for God made man capable of performing it; but man, by the instigation of the devil, and his own wilful disobedience, deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. & A. 9). God does not excuse man from serving Him because of his own foolishness in disobeying God when He had warned him, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Prof. Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 12 April, 2018
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Subject:
Angels as Messengers of the Lord
 
What are angels? What do they do? What are the main erroneous views regarding angels? Holy Scripture has a lot to say about God’s heavenly servants (much more than you think) and it is important! Here is a biblical theology of angels which will help you understand more of God’s Word and the ways these glorious creatures serve our salvation.

Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
 

British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference

21-29 July 2018

Hebron Hall
Conference Centre

South Wales

Theme:
The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God

Speakers:
Prof. David Engelsma
Rev. Andy Lanning

Check the conference website
for more details and booking forms
http://brfconference.weebly.com/
Be Ye Holy 
The Reformed Doctrine of Sanctification


by David J. Engelsma
& Herman Hanko
(vi + 150 pp., softback)

What is sanctification? How is it related to justification? What is the error of antinomianism? What is the role of the law in sanctification? This book covers all this and much more, and exhorts us all to holiness by the Spirit of Christ!

£5.50 (inc. P&P)
Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
.
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!

Ezekiel’s Prophecies Against Tyre

4 sermons on Ezekiel 26-28 on CD or DVD in an attractive box set 

 In Ezekiel 26-28, the prophet speaks more of the great maritime trading city of Tyre than the rest of the Bible put together. Here we have unique geography, fascinating history, powerful imagery and striking prophecy. What do Tyre and its king have to do with the Garden of Eden, the prophet Daniel, a cherub, Adam and Satan? What does Ezekiel 26-28 teach us about man’s pride and covetousness, God’s justice and the end of the world?

(1) A Place for the Spreading of Nets! (Eze. 26)
(2) The Ship of Tyre (Eze. 27)
(3) “I Am a God” (Eze. 28:1-10)
(4) The King of Tyre in Eden (Eze. 28:11-19)

£5/box set (inc. P&P)

LIsten free on-line
or order from the
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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Reformed News Asia - February 2018

Issue 47 - February 2018
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
I AM BLACK, BUT BEAUTIFUL
By Rev. Doug Kuiper

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).

"Among the books of Holy Scripture is the book the Song of Solomon — a love poem between Solomon and his wife — a book that at times causes Christians to blush and to wonder, “What is the meaning of this book?” This book, if you are acquainted with it (and perhaps this week you can become acquainted with it), is part of the holy and authoritative Scriptures. In the words of Jesus Christ in John 5:39, “They are they which testify of me.” This book, the Song of Solomon, is written by the Holy Spirit to make plain to us and to make most lovely to us the relationship that exists between Christ, the husband, and us the church, His bride."

"The Song of Solomon,..., is a poem of Solomon’s love for the Shulamite woman. It is a representation through marriage of that beautiful and glorious union that God has made between us (the church, the believer) and Jesus Christ the Lord (the Bridegroom)."

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
WALKING IN THE WAY OF LOVE
by Nathan J. Langerak

From the RFPA website:

Written by new author Nathan J. Langerak. Rev. Langerak is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. He lives in Crete, Illinois, with his wife, Carrie, and six children. He has served as pastor of Crete Protestant Reformed Church since 2007.

________________________

"A love that disciplines impenitent sinners; a love that will not fellowship with the impenitent sinner; a love that will not endure false doctrine or those who teach it; a love that suffers the loss of all earthly things, including earthly friendships, goods, and standing for the sake of the truth; a love that says what the apostle Paul says at the end of his great book on love, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” is true love. It is God’s love and Christ’s love manifesting itself in the believer. These and many other hard things belong to the way of love as revealed by the Holy Spirit and in which 1 Corinthians calls the believer to walk."

 
Audio Recordings
Sermons on Justification by Faith Alone and not of works from the Heidelberg Catechism Lord's Day 23 & 24 by Rev Den Hartog:

The Gospel Of Justification By Faith Alone
Why Our Good Works Cannot Merit With God

 
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Good Friday Gospel Meeting

More details coming soon!
 
CERC Church Camp 2018

The highly anticipated 2018 Church Camp will be held from June 12-15, 2018 (Tue-Fri). Details as stated below. Registrations are now open! More details will be announced closer to the date.

Date: 12-15 June 2018 (Tue - Fri)
Venue: Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Meleka
Theme: Holiness: Not a Condition but a Necessity (1 Peter 1:16)
Speaker: Rev. A. den Hartog
 
Past Events...
 
CERC Church Retreat 2018
CERC began the year with an outing to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. There was an exhortation, followed by a slippery time on the wetland trails. Despite the rainy start to the year, there was a good time of fellowship!
Exhortation by Elder Leong
River trekking
 
Dave Noorman and Carisa Noorman
We welcomed Dave and Carisa Noorman to CERC for 3 Sundays: 31 December, 7 & 14 January for pulpit supply. We thank God for providing for CERC and for the fellowship we had with them.
Welcome to rainy Singapore!
 
Wedding of Jiachin and Millie
This January, Jiachin and Millie were united in holy matrimony. We rejoice with them and pray the Lord's blessings upon their union.
Walking down the aisle
 
Rev. and Mrs den Hartog
Once again, we thank God for Rev. Arie den Hartog who had recently retired from the ministry in the PRCA but was willing to supply our pulpit from 28 January through the end of June 2018. To many, this is not the first time seeing them and we are glad to welcome them back.
Rev den Hartog and Sherry at Glowing Candles Bible study
 
CNY Visitation - 24 Feb
Two homes were opened this year for our annual church CNY visitation - Rev. den Hartog's and Melina's. The event was filled with food (spiritual and physical), fun, and fellowship!
At Melina's home
 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord's Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 ; Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning -  www.cerc.org.sg 
 
 
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Covenant Reformed News - February 2018

 

Covenant Reformed News

February 2018  •  Volume XVI, Issue 22



The Crowding Out of the Church

In general, twenty-first century Protestantism suffers from the terrible malaise of a gross ignorance of biblical and Reformed ecclesiology, faulty and false doctrines concerning the church, and a grievous under appreciation of Christ’s bride and body. Among the factors that produce and/or reinforce a low and erroneous view of the church is the misunderstanding of other spheres, institutions or parties, including work, oneself, the family and the state, which we shall consider in turn.
First, for some, the church is largely crowded out by work (the sphere of employment). Some are workaholics, labouring very long hours or often away on business trips, so the church gets short shrift in their lives. Some move home or attend university with little or no thought given to the presence or otherwise of a faithful congregation, manifesting the three marks of a true church, in the area (Belgic Confession 29). Some are given to “the love of money” which is the root of all sorts of evil (I Tim. 6:10), including slighting the church of which Christ is the head. Some professing believers break the fourth commandment by performing labour that is not a work of necessity or mercy, thereby incurring guilt before God, and depriving themselves of the means of grace and much-needed fellowship with other believers in the instituted church.
Second, there is the problem of unbiblical individualism (the sphere of self). Everything is all about me, my needs, and, hence, what the church can do for me. There is little or nothing about other saints and their needs, and what I can do for them. Little or no thought is given to the church or its head, the Lord Jesus Christ, just me!
Over against this, the Apostles’ Creed speaks of “the communion of the saints,” which is explained in the Heidelberg Catechism: “First, that all and every one who believes, being members of Christ, are, in common, partakers of Him and of all His riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members” (A. 55).
Typically, selfish people do not like being under authority (even where it is properly exercised) or having people over them (even if they are seeking to serve them in Jesus Christ) or being told what to do (even if this is done righteously and humbly) or being held accountable (even if it is to the Lord’s church and to Him).
This individualistic attitude has a hard time understanding, practising and living the biblical truth of the church. Such people struggle to submit to, enjoy and rejoice in scriptural ecclesiology. They kick against being part of a body and being under the Good Shepherd’s under-shepherds. In so doing, sadly, such people harm others and especially themselves.
Third, some have a wrong view of marriage and the home (the sphere of family). Consider a husband who is overbearing towards his wife and lords it over his household. Absolutely everything in the home has to come under his attention and suit him. Those who abuse their authority in their household will find it very difficult to submit and behave wisely in “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15). If such a man is unemployed, with no boss to submit to or obey, his problem will be exacerbated because he is not used to being under anyone.
Likewise, there are wives for whom it is all about their husbands and children. The real issue is the home and the family. As long as they are okay, who cares about Christ’s body? The church is unnecessary or, at best, peripheral; never central.
For such husbands and wives (and their children), it is all about me and my family. The biblical place and significance of the church cannot be properly grasped and enjoyed.
However, the truth is that there should be no conflict: me versus the church or my family versus the church. The proper relationship is that of reciprocity. Believing husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children and individuals need and help the church. The church, in turn, needs and helps Christian husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children and individuals.
Fourth, there is the deification of the state (the sphere of civil government). In the twenty-first century, many states, especially in the West, are acting like God and are being regarded by many as if they were a sort of God. Professing Christians need to be careful lest their hearts and minds are secularized too!
The welfare state promises to give, through our taxes, cradle to grave security, if you can make it to the cradle without having been cruelly murdered in the womb. So who needs the God of providence and the church’s diaconate?
The politically-correct state seizes divine prerogatives by redefining person (in order to kill unborn babies), marriage (to promote homosexuality) and gender (to further transgenderism). All of this is contrary to God’s Word (Ps. 139:13-16; Matt. 19:4-6; Rom. 1:26-27), as proclaimed by the true churches of Jesus Christ.
The moralizing state redefines love as first tolerance, and then approval and even celebration of sin, especially sexual sin. It then redefines God as the soppy, immoral god of left-wing love. Who then needs the real God of love and the love of God in the cross of Jesus Christ, and the Ten Commandments as the summary of love for God and one’s neighbour, as proclaimed by Christ’s church?
The deification and absolutizing of the state is reflected in the well-nigh ubiquitous phrase: “the government,” as if the civil government is the only government that exists. What about God’s sovereign and all-encompassing government or the government of a business or family government or individual government or church government? The state’s unwarranted encroachment into the God-given spheres of the home, the church, work, etc., is bad enough but the Christian must not allow such usurpations to take over his own thinking!
Where this soul-deadening, secularizing, statist view steals the hearts and minds of professing Christians, they will have low views of the need of the church, the offices of the church, the authority of the church, the work of the church, etc. The leviathan, politically-correct state must not overshadow the believer’s vision of, and love for, God’s glorious church, the bride of Christ for whom He shed His atoning blood, and whom He sanctifies and cleanses by His Word (Eph. 5:25-27)! Rev. Angus Stewart
 

The Law of Christ (2)

We continue with our response to a reader’s question: “I would like to ask your view of the law of Christ (I Cor. 9:20-21). What exactly is the law of Christ and how does it, if at all, differ from the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament?”
God’s writing His law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33) is possible only because of our Lord’s amazing sacrifice on the cross. If I may put it that way, the deepest depth of Christ’s suffering was when He cried out in utter anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). It was an awful cry of abandonment: “why?” Yet, even then, His cry was, “My God, my God.” That is, even at that terrible moment, Christ was saying, “Even though I know nothing but pure wrath, I still love thee, O My God!” In other words, He kept the law of God, not only in the years of His ministry but even as He experienced hellish agonies. It was perfect obedience. He earned it for us. That is why the law is now written on our hearts. Christ did what we cannot do: keep God’s law. His motto was “I come to do thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:9).
Our Heidelberg Catechism speaks of a “must” regarding good works (Q. 86). The “must” arises out of our salvation. We are told that we must do good works because we are saved. We are told in the gospel that we can do good works as an incentive to do them. We are told in the Word that we will do good works. The “must,” the “can” and the “will” all come together in us by God’s work. The broken sinner is so happy to hear that he is justified by faith alone without his works that he, in thankfulness to God, does them through the power of divine grace.
Our good works are God’s working in us. Paul, in Philippians 2:12-13, urges us to work out our own salvation. The reason we are admonished to work out our salvation is because God has made it completely possible, for He, so the text tells us, not only makes us willing to do it but also He Himself works in us the very work He calls us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 is especially clear. Paul has said that salvation is God’s work entirely and never ours. We are saved by grace through faith—and neither grace nor faith are of ourselves but are gifts of God (8). Paul tells us how it is possible for us to do good works, even as those saved by grace through faith without works. We are God’s “workmanship” (10). The word means, God’s masterpiece, like the work of the greatest artist on a canvas. We are God’s workmanship because we show forth the skill and glory of the One who changed us from sinners to saints.
But what about our good works? Well, for one thing, He made us what we are so that we could do good works: “we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (10). Even these good works are decreed for us—every one of them—in God’s eternal counsel: “good works, which God hath before ordained” (10). God determined them; Christ earned them, all of them, on His cross. They are part of our salvation. Our good works are God’s gift through Christ. Wonder of wonders, God determined that we should walk in them! It is all of God!
The complaint is made that this doctrine makes man a robot. How can a work be our work and God’s work? Cannot these deniers of sovereign grace see that God is almighty? He does marvellous things! The Canons of Dordt call this work of God as great a wonder as His creation of the universe, for it is “mysterious,” “ineffable,” beyond our understanding (III/IV:12). We, weak and insignificant creatures, cannot fully understand any of God’s works. Can we explain how a baby is formed in the womb of its mother? Comes to birth? Takes his or her place as an adult in God’s world?
Nevertheless, God has revealed a bit to us. Our good works are emphatically our good works. So much are they our good works that we are judged in accordance with our works and our good works by grace are even rewarded! How can this be?
When God begins the work of salvation in us at our new birth, He gives us the gift of faith. That faith, as Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, teaches us, is a living bond that unites us to the risen and exalted Christ so that His heavenly, resurrection life becomes ours. That faith our God brings to consciousness in us by the preaching of the gospel so that faith enables us to do two things. First, it makes us receive as truth everything God has revealed to us in His Word. Second, it causes us to put all our trust and hope for every speck of our salvation in Christ alone. It enables us to lay hold of Him, seek our salvation in Him alone and cling to Him in all our grief. Without Him, we have nothing; with Him, we have everything. It is in this way that we do good works because God works in us in Jesus Christ and by faith in Him.
Our Heidelberg Catechism begins with the one question without an answer to which I cannot live: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” The answer, so simple, so plain, so child-like, so all-encompassing: “That I belong to Jesus. He bought me with His blood!” That is all—even for a child. I need no more than that.
The best illustration is to be found in the horticulturist’s work of grafting. If the branch of a Macintosh apple tree is cut off the tree, it would soon die, for its life comes from the tree. If it is grafted into a Gala apple tree, it will live, because it is grafted into a tree from which it gets its life. Though it be grafted into a Gala apple tree and draws its life from that tree, it will continue to bear Macintosh apples.
So we, grafted into Christ, do bring forth fruit. It is our fruit, no one else’s. Yet all the life in us that produces good works is Christ’s life. Salvation is in God alone, for He it is that must and will receive all the glory, both now and forever. Prof. Herman Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 22 February
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown


Subject:
The Covenant of God
 
The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments (or covenants). Reformed theology is often called “covenant theology.” The Christian life, church, family and home are often called “covenantal.” God is the covenant God. Come to learn about the meaning and the importance of the covenant!

Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
www.limerickreformed.com
 

British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference

21-29 July 2018

Hebron Hall
Conference Centre

South Wales

Theme:
The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God

Speakers:
Prof. David Engelsma
Rev. Andy Lanning

Check the conference website
for more details and booking forms
http://brfconference.weebly.com/
1834: Hendrick de Cock’s Return to the True Church

by Marvin Kamps
(512 pp., hardback)

The book recounts the reformation of the church in the Netherlands in 1834, when Hendrik de Cock testified against the false doctrines and unspiritual character of the state Reformed church. After having been unceremoniously suspended and deposed from office, he led his congregation to return to scriptural teaching and the biblical worship of God in Christ Jesus. This book narrates one man’s struggle against the perversions of Scripture by the vast majority of ordained pastors in the state Reformed church with its million or more spiritually sleeping members.  De Cock’s courageous testimony has inspired the witness of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world until this day. Read this stirring account and be galvanized to fight the good fight of the church militant!

£24.00 (inc. P&P)
Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
.
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!

The Sacraments

6 classes on
Belgic Confession 33
on CD in a box set 

 Most people know what the two Christian sacraments are but how do we prove this? Why did Christ give us only two sacraments? What is the point of them? How do we benefit from them? How are Word and sacrament related? Listen and learn! 

(1) Introduction and Rome’s Sacramentology (Eph. 5:22-33)
(2) The Criteria for Determining the Sacraments (I Cor. 11:17-34)
(3) Exsurge Domine and the Rationale of Two Sacraments (I Cor. 10:1-22)
(4) Similarities and Differences Between the Word and the Sacraments (Gen. 17:1-14)
(5) The Component Parts of the Sacraments (Gen. 17:1-14)
(6) The Perspective and Purpose of the Sacraments (John 6:27-51)

£6/box set (inc. P&P)

LIsten free on-line
or order from the
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - February 2018

CPRC News Header

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI

9 February, 2018

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Church Visitors

Rev. Nathan Decker (Trinity PRC) and Elder Sid Miedema (Byron Center PRC) were this year’s church visitors in the CPRC (18-25 January) and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF) (25-29 January). It was good to have both of these men back with us again!

CPRC supper 2018
Annual Congregational Dinner

Their first engagement was the CPRC annual congregational dinner (19 January). Besides members and friends of the church in Ballymena, Rev. McGeown, Colm Ring, Manuel Kuhs, Chester Mansona, and Sam and Jason Watterson of the LRF made the four-hour journey to join us (and that is only one way!). After a good meal, William Graham asked the questions for an excellent table quiz.

PRC church visitors 2018
Chester Mansona, Sid Miedema, Rev. Decker, Rev. McGeown

Rev. Decker preached at both of our Sunday services (21 January) and led a fine Bible study on Psalm 73 at the church on Tuesday morning. On the next night, his lecture on “Living Wisely in a Digital Age” was well attended and the on-line video has attracted a lot of interest ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=TorlK7c_CYw ).

Besides the official church visitation with the CPRC Council, our two American brethren had dinner with several families and visited with other saints. On the morning of their departure for Limerick, they even fitted in breakfast with a former member (Kristin Crossett) and a current member (Carolyn Prins) of the church that Rev. Decker pastors.

Teaching in the CPRC

“Ezekiel’s Prophecies Against Tyre” (Ezek. 26:1-28:19) was the subject of a recent 4-sermon series in the CPRC. God judged that wealthy island trading centre so that it was reduced to a rock upon which fishermen repaired and cleaned their nets. The prophet pictured the city as a great ship filled with international merchants and all their wares, but it was going to sink to the bottom of the Mediterranean. The king of Tyre thought that he was wiser than Daniel and even a god. His realm was another Eden for precious stones and gold, and he was like Adam or a cherub guarding the garden. Yet he was a fallen son of Adam and the image of Satan, and he would soon be cast from his garden of God and destroyed. The 4 sermons are on-line in audio (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/OTseries.htm) and video ( www.youtube.com/user/CPRCNI ), and soon will be available in a box set of CDs or DVDs for just £6.

In our Tuesday morning Bible study, we have been considering the Feast of Tabernacles, the most joyful of the Old Testament feasts. We have looked at its institution in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and its celebration in Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, and I Kings. More material is to come, including 4 major Old Testament passages and John 7.

Since the middle of November, our Wednesday night doctrine class has been studying the subject of baptism in connection with Belgic Confession 34. Our treatment has included the baptismal formula, the administrators of baptism, the requirements for a valid baptism,
immersionism, the mode of baptism, the meaning of baptism, etc. ( www.cprf.co.uk/ audio/belgicconfessionclass.htm ). It is a rich subject that opens up a lot of Scriptures.

The fortnightly Ladies’ Bible Study, which meets on Friday mornings, is now discussing Rev. Smit’s book, The Fruit the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The fortnightly Saturday night Men’s Bible Study has begun Studies in Acts by Mark Hoeksema. These fine RFPA resources are already proving beneficial to our members. Almost all of the copies of Rev. Brian Huizinga’s “Keeping the Sword Drawn” brought over by the two church visitors have gone already ( www.cprf.co.uk/pamphlets/keeping sworddrawn.pdf ). Some of the saints in the CPRC are also using a yearly Bible reading programme that Mary prepared from two existing programmes.

Others

“God’s Saving Will in the New Testament” was the subject of a lecture I gave in South Wales on 25 January. There are two main Greek words that deal with willing, determining, desiring, wishing, etc., in the New Testament. What does a study of this concept in the New Testament reveal about the will of God’s decree and the will of His command? We had a blessed night of fellowship with the saints, including with Timothy Spence, a member of the CPRC who is at a university in South Wales. Also a good number of books and box sets were purchased. The video is on-line ( www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rPml_52T__0 ).

The last couple of months have seen 14 translations added to our website (www.cprf. co.uk/languages.htm): 6 Hungarian (by 2 young men who are coming to the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship Conference), 6 German (on Pentecostal issues by a brother who last did some translations for us in 2010), 1 Italian (by a Calvinistic Baptist in Sicily), and 1 Hindi (Prof. Engelsma’s pamphlet “Try the Spirits” by Sam Salve in India).

We added our second video with French subtitles, thanks to Timothée Rapak of Reims. This brings our foreign language videos to 28 ( www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2Y5Eq5r6y2HmXGp8oXTSI2QS6_FJYjyJ ). The USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia often feature in the top 5 countries using the CPRC YouTube page. However, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of all places, have broken into the top 5 in recent times!

We continue to get a lot of good feedback. “I love the steadfast, Calvinist, Reformed theology [of the CPRC] on the internet. Bless you!” (Florida, USA). “Just a note to say thank you for the great book, Knowing God and Man. I couldn’t lay it down once I started reading it. It is profound truth and an absolutely brilliant book. I will be using its contents for many references” (Northern Ireland). “I read the excellent article on the subject of Lefèvre [‘Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples: Pioneer of French Reform’]...I would love to quote it in an essay I’m writing to raise awareness of Lefèvre and his influence on the Reformation in France” (France). “Thank you for the books you kindly sent me. They will be very useful in the year ahead and also for the British Reformed Journals. The materials you send me are so appreciated in these days of Arminian churches” (England). “I have been a long-time reader of your website and have encouraged many to read your articles. One of the members of our church has recently translated some articles for you into Portuguese” (Australia).

Bookings for the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference in Hebron Hall, Cardiff (21-28 July) are coming on very well. Already we have heard from people in Germany, Wales, America, Northern Ireland, Brazil, England, Australia, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, etc., that they are coming. The theme of “The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God” will be developed by our two main speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning. The two-day trips include a fifteenth-century castle and Wales’ most popular heritage attraction, which is also one of Europe’s leading open-air museums. Much more information, including prices and the booking form, is on-line ( http://brfconference.weebly.com ). The North American booking secretary is Briana Prins (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Do join us!

Thank you for your support and prayers in Christ,
Rev. & Mary Stewart

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New Issue of "Salt Shakers" Magazine - January 2018

SS 47 Jan 2018 Page 1"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the January 2018 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#47),their youth magazine.

The January 2018 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and instructive articles, and our PRC young people especially are encouraged to make it part of their reading content.

Below you will find a note from the "SS" Committee introducing the contents of this issue and images of the cover and table of contents. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.

Beloved Readers,

Salt Shakers is pleased to bring you Issue 47, the first issue of 2008! 
This issue, we begin our consideration of a new theme which highlights the important calling of holiness in our lives. We pray that our readers may be edified to this end through the excellent Reformed articles in this edition.
We thank the Lord for His continued grace in sustaining this magazine. May it ever redound to His glory! 
Our heartfelt appreciation also goes to all our writers for their contributions to Salt Shakers!
In the January 2018 issue:
  • Calvin's Instruction on Church Membership Aaron Lim
  • Scripture's Covenant Youth (X): David - Prof. Herman Hanko
  • Are Unbelievers in God's Image? (V) - Rev. Angus Stewart
  • CKCKS Camp Review: Examine Yourselves - Nichelle Wong
  • In the Year of the Dog - Daisy Lim
  • Raising a Covenant Family - Rev. Arie Den Hartog
  • A Letter to My Unforgiving Self (I) - Marcus Wee
  • The Importance of Family Devotions - Rev. Ryan Barnhill
  • Reformed Polemics for the Reformed Believer - Rev. Nathan Langerak
  • Rejoicing and Weeping Together (I): Introduction - Lim Yang Zhi
  • Bold to Witness  - Rev. Stephan Regnerus
  • Holiness: A Conscious Choice - Eld. Lee Kong Wee
Remember to pass the salt!
Pro Rege,
Chua Lee Yang, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee
SS 47 Jan 2018 Page 2
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Covenant Reformed News - January 2018

Covenant Reformed News

January 2018  •  Volume XVI, Issue 21



Pulpit Failure Regarding Ecclesiology

Through compromising with the ungodly world, liberal Protestantism has lost the infallible Scriptures, the blood of Christ’s cross, the gospel of grace, etc. Thus it is apostate and a manifestation of the false church. However, not all is well with evangelicalism either. One of its big problems is that of a low, sub-biblical and non-creedal view of the church. Why? How has this widespread malaise gotten hold?
A major reason is that of pulpit failure. Ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church, has not been, and is not being, properly taught by many ministers (and their theological colleges). Why is this?
First, in some congregations, the “three Rs” are preached but little more or else. By the “three Rs,” we do not mean the traditional trio of reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic. Instead, we are referring to ruin by the fall, redemption by the cross and regeneration by the Spirit. While these things are indeed fundamental and massive biblical truths that are necessary for salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ, they are not the whole of God’s revelation. Often, ecclesiology and other things are totally or largely left out.
A second factor in pulpit failure regarding ecclesiology for some is that of the Sunday evening gospel service. Thereby at least half of the church’s sermons consist of the potted gospel addressed to the unconverted. This gives little preaching time to cover the truth of the church (and other biblical subjects) and so build up the people of God in this area. (Contact us, if you are in the British Isles and would like us to post to you a free copy of the pamphlet “Reformed Evangelism and the Sunday Evening Gospel Service.”)
A third reason why many ministers avoid or skate around the doctrine of the church is that they know that it is an issue on which many of their members disagree. In non-Reformed and non-creedal churches, there is an ever-increasing number of controversial topics. The temptation, and often the practice, is to steer clear of ecclesiology (and other subjects) out of the fear of upsetting and losing members. It is especially easy to understand the attraction of this for a minister of a small church: “If we lose any more people, our congregation will no longer be viable!”
However, this failure to teach ecclesiology (or any other biblical doctrine) is wrong. The apostolic example and requirement for the Christian pastor is that he declare—not a little or some or most of but—“all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), as did Paul, that “wise masterbuilder” of the church (I Cor. 3:10)! An undershepherd who avoids or sells short God’s truth about His church is not feeding Christ’s sheep with the rich and varied diet of Jehovah’s inspired Word that is necessary for their spiritual health and strength.
Various practical problems especially arise in congregations where ecclesiology is not properly taught. The loss of the scriptural office of deacon (I Tim. 3:8-13; Acts 6; Phil. 1:1) is one example; unbiblical “committee men” are often substituted in their place. Without the robust doctrine of the church taught in the Word of God, elders can soon be reduced to mere figureheads or yes-men. Where the full, biblical and Reformed ecclesiology is not found, it is much easier for the minister to become the tyrannical lord of the congregation. Moreover, the members of the church will be ill equipped to contradict the usurpation that is the appointment and “rule” of women office-bearers (I Tim. 2:11-15). With little or no knowledge of the doctrine of the church, most people will blindly go along with lay preaching, contrary to the Reformed faith and confessions (Westminster Larger Catechism, Q. & A. 158).
If sins or abuses arise in the congregation or denomination, the ill-taught member will not know if he or she can protest, or how to protest. Those bereft of Scripture’s wholesome ecclesiology are defenceless against strong-arm tactics by despotic office-bearers. All they are able to do is moan about it, because they are not empowered and equipped to use the God-honouring, ecclesiastical means for redress. Likewise, without the glorious, biblical doctrine of the church and its worship, congregations are wide open to modern “will worship” (Col. 2:23) and false ecumenism (II Chron. 19:2), despite the lamentations of those who retain some fear of God. What a foolish notion many have, that it is okay if ecclesiology gets short shrift in the preaching for it is of little practical value! Carnal men who think they know better than God are the occasion of the tears of the faithful and the apostasy of the church.
Once ignorance, apathy and errors regarding ecclesiology set in, it is usually very difficult to address and correct these problems by teaching. Tragically, many of the people begin to enjoy their increasingly man-centred church and its governance by man’s wisdom. As the prophet of God lamented, “My people love to have it so” (Jer. 5:31)!
Sadly, with the loss of vital ecclesiology and Christian knowledge in general, as well as the resulting waning of godliness, the biblical and creedal teaching of the Calvin Reformation is largely seen as too difficult and too costly. There are so few who are interested in the election of the church, the church militant, true doctrinal church unity, the holiness of the church, the regulative principle of church worship, covenant baptism, the office of deacon, elders overseeing the Lord’s supper, church discipline, church order, church government, Christ’s kingship over His church, spiritual church authority, the three marks of a church (faithful preaching, sacramental administration and church discipline), the necessity of joining a true church, etc. Sometimes the ignorance of ecclesiology is so deep and the people are so entrenched in false paths that they perversely slander the biblical, Reformed and creedal teaching as if it were Roman Catholicism! Rev. Stewart
 

The Law of Christ (1)

A reader asks, “I would like to ask your view of the law of Christ (I Cor. 9:20-21). What exactly is the law of Christ and how does it, if at all, differ from the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament?”
There is much confusion on this issue, especially in the controversy over the error of Antinomianism. There is a growing notion abroad, fanned by the Federal Vision, that the good works of the law have to be performed by the believer and added to faith in order to secure salvation. It is all part of a conditional salvation, which makes our salvation rest on our works. Those who deny conditional salvation are then slandered as hyper-Calvinists. The truth concerning God’s moral law plays an important part in the controversy but there are few who understand it properly, i.e., biblically.
The Decalogue was given to Israel from Mount Sinai. It is a codification of God’s law that is imbedded in the creation itself. According to Romans 1:18-32 and Romans 2:14-15, even the pagans, who do not have the sacred Scriptures, know the law in their consciences but God gave it to His people from Sinai on two tables of stone.
The Ten Commandments are, therefore, God’s unchangeable moral will for man whom He originally created in His own likeness. The Triune God formed every creature with the specific purpose of glorifying Him in its own unique way. Man was created to glorify God by living a holy life as He Himself is holy, and thus representing the Most High as head of the creation.
That man fell does not change the law in any respect, as the Arminian alleges. The keeping of the law is the fundamental way in which man must live as God’s friend-servant and that remains true for all time. Whether man can keep that law or not makes no difference. This is the conditio sine qua non for man to have fellowship with God. Even though man’s depravity is so complete that he cannot even will to do what God commands, he is still required to keep the law and violation of it means everlasting hell.
God is the infinitely holy One. He created man in His own image, which included holiness. If man (in Adam) refused to obey that law and fell into total depravity, this is not God’s fault but man’s own fault. That law remains unchangeably the same throughout history and into eternity. There is no difference between the law of the Old Testament and the New.
God had another purpose in mind in giving Israel His law from Sinai. God had eternally determined to save a church out of the fallen human race through His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The law was given as a schoolmaster to lead Israel to Christ (Gal. 3:24). To fallen Adam and Eve, God promised the seed of the woman who would crush the head of Satan and deliver His people from the misery of sin and death (Gen. 3:15). Believing Israel lived in constant anticipation of the coming of that Deliverer.
But they often had to be taught to look for their Redeemer, even as we need to be taught the same as we await our Lord’s second coming. One means was the law, which, as Paul expresses it, was a schoolmaster to bring the people to Christ.
It worked this way. God had, in His saving grace, so worked in the hearts of His people that they heard and learned that salvation included a keeping of the law. “Do this,” God had said, “and live.” But believing Israel, hearing this, could only cry out in anguish, “We can’t, we can’t.” And the law said, “Cursed is he that keepeth not all the words of this law” (cf. Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10). It was to them that the gospel came: “Look to Him who is to come. Hope in the promise of God who will send the Redeemer!”
The words of our Lord must have come as refreshing water to the thirsty soul, when He cried to those who were labouring and heavily laden with the curses of the law crushing them, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). “You do not have to keep the law in order to become God’s people. I have come to do what you cannot do!”
The law still has that purpose today, as our beloved Heidelberg Catechism has it: “Whence knowest thou thy misery? Out of the law of God” (Q. & A. 3).
The law says, “Keep me and live, and accursed art thou if thou keepest me not.” All I can say is, “I can’t, I can’t. Woe is me.” It is the gospel that comes with good news: “Go to Christ, go to Him. In Christ and His work, not yours, is hope to be found.”
When I go to church, it is after a week of toil in which I have sinned. The burden of sin weighs heavily on my soul. I do not come to church, in the first place, to hear the minister say to me, “You must do this; this is your calling. I admonish you that you must fulfil this command to come to God.” My only response is, “I tried. I can’t. Is it all hopeless?” I go to church to hear what Christ did for me! That is the gospel! That is what I want to hear! That is what I need!
But there is more. Christ not only paid the necessary cost of eternal hell for us but He also earned for us the fullness of salvation, now and eternally in heaven. While this includes all the blessings of salvation, I want to call your attention to one in particular.
After a description of Israel’s terrible sins in Ezekiel 16, God speaks of His covenant promise in verses 60-63. God says that His anger towards us for breaking His law is pacified (63). Besides this covenant blessing of the forgiveness of sins, there is another blessing of the new covenant: God’s writing His law in our hearts.
Hebrews 8:8-10, quoting Jeremiah 31:31-33, says, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel ... Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers … For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”
It is the same law given to Adam at his creation and codified for Israel at Sinai that is now written in our minds and on our hearts. That is, salvation by Christ has as one of its wonderful blessings the spiritual ability to keep God’s law (though never perfectly in this life).
By His irresistible grace in the new covenant, God has written on our hearts the law of love, love for Him and our neighbour, as summed in the Decalogue of Moses. For us, the Ten Commandments have become the law of Christ! Prof. Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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Ballymena Lecture

Living Wisely in a Digital Age

 This very practical speech will address a serious concern in our day: the attachment of many young people (and adults!) to their phones and digital devices. Is this healthy? Does this serve real flesh-and-blood or face-to-face contact? How does this affect family life and the friendships of Christian youth?  What of their church life and the communion of the saints? What of the dangers of pornography? 

Speaker:
Rev. Nathan Decker
(Michigan, USA)

Wednesday, 24 January 
at 7:45 PM

Venue:
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

(83 Clarence Street,
Ballymena BT43 5DR)

All are welcome! 

www.cprc.co.uk

Rev. Decker will also preach at both Lord’s Day services on 21 January
The sermons and lecture will be streamed live 
at www.cprf.co.uk/live.html
 

South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 25 January
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Subject:
God's Saving Will in the New Testament
 
What does the New Testament say about what God wishes, wills, desires or wants? Does He ever desire anything He does not get? Does He ever want anything He decrees will not happen? How do Gods’ eternity, unchangeability and omnipotence fit  with His wishes? And what does all this say about Christ and His cross?

NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
Walking in the
Way of Love


A Practical Commentary on I Corinthians

by Nathan Langerak
(432 pp., hardback) 

Walking in the Way of Love, volume 1, is a commentary on, and application of, chapters 1-9 of I Corinthians. Directed toward the believer and the true church of Jesus Christ, the book teaches the vitally important way of true love, over against the foolish chatter about love spoken by the world and the apostate church.

Here is rich fare: the cross as the wisdom and power of God, the Spirit searching the deep things of God, carnal Christianity, apostolic ministry, church discipline of those living in fornication, the believer and going to court, singleness and marriage, Christian liberty, ministerial support and much more!.

 £17.50 (inc. free P&P)
Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
.
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!

Righteousness by Faith Alone

12 sermons on
Romans 4 on
CD or DVD 
in a box set

 
Justification by faith alone is biblical and Reformation truth. But there are rich aspects of it that you are not aware of!
  
(1) Abraham’s Justification)
(2) The Justification of the Ungodly
(3) David and the Non-Imputation of Sins
(4) David and the Imputation of Righteousness
(5) The Time of Abraham’s Justification
(6) The Abrahamic Land Promise and Justification
(7) The Logic of Faith Alone
(8) The Necessity of Faith Alone
(9) The God of Justification
(10) Abraham’s Justifying Faith
(11) Abraham’s Unwavering Faith
(12) Jesus Raised Because of Our Justification

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

LIsten free on-line
or order from the
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
Read more...

Reformed News Asia - December 2017

Issue 46 - December 2017
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.

NEWPamphlet!
SIGNS OF THE TIME
By Prof Herman Hanko 

"The Scriptures speak frequently of the signs of Christ’s coming, and the entire book of Revelation is devoted to a discussion of these signs. But the chapter in Matthew 24, speaks clearly and briefly of all the signs that must take place before the Lord returns. It is well that we, who live in the end of the ages, know what these signs are in order that we recognize them as signs when these events take place. We must be students of the times in which we live and know what is happening in our own country and in all the nations of our planet earth.
 
But Jesus does not give us the list of signs in order that we may have some additional information of God’s works; He himself ends His discussion of the signs of His coming with many urgent warnings to watch and pray; and He even gives us three parables in Matthew 25 to press home His admonitions concerning how we are to live in the light of the nearness of Christ’s coming.
 
The wicked mockers laugh at the anxious prayer of the righteous, “Come Lord Jesus, yea, come quickly.” But our Lord tells us how we must live when our life is controlled by the nearness of Christ’s return. Peter emphasizes the same practical calling that is ours. After pointing to the foolishness of those who mock Christ’s coming, and after assuring us of the complete destruction of this present world, he says, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Pet. 3:11)."


Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.

 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
WALKING IN THE WAY OF LOVE
by Nathan J. Langerak

From the RFPA website:

Written by new author Nathan J. Langerak. Rev. Langerak is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. He lives in Crete, Illinois, with his wife, Carrie, and six children. He has served as pastor of Crete Protestant Reformed Church since 2007.

________________________

"A love that disciplines impenitent sinners; a love that will not fellowship with the impenitent sinner; a love that will not endure false doctrine or those who teach it; a love that suffers the loss of all earthly things, including earthly friendships, goods, and standing for the sake of the truth; a love that says what the apostle Paul says at the end of his great book on love, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” is true love. It is God’s love and Christ’s love manifesting itself in the believer. These and many other hard things belong to the way of love as revealed by the Holy Spirit and in which 1 Corinthians calls the believer to walk."

 
Audio Recordings
The Preparatory and the Lord's Supper sermon as we partook of the Lord's Supper on 24 December 2017:

Preparatory Sermon: The New Covenant
Lord's Supper: The Sign of the Swaddling Clothes

 
Upcoming Events!
 
CERC Church Retreat 2018

New Year Church Retreat outing to explore and experience the unspoilt nature reserve of Singapore!

Date: 1st January 2018 (Monday)
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Extension

 
Past Events...
 
Confessions of Faith & Baptism
CERC concluded the year with 8 Confessions of Faith and 2 Baptisms. Thank God for adding to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:47b 
Confessions of Faith 
Baptism of Victor
Baptism of Joshua Kiew
 
Vacation Bible School 2017
From 4-7 Dec, CERC held its annual Vacation Bible School under the theme "Parable and the Sower". Lessons were conducted about the sower and the four different types of grounds in which the seeds fell on. The last day of the camp was an outing at Bukit Panjang Park where the children were brought to do simple gardening at Pocket Greens farm. Many other fun activities were also done in church to further emphasize the need for the seeds to be planted on good ground. 
Outing day!
 
CKCKS Camp 2017
Our annual CKCKS Camp was held on 19-22 Dec under the theme "Examine Yourselves", taken from II Corinthians 13:5. This year, we were pleased to have 4 speakers - Pastor Lanning, Elder Lim, Elder Lee and Elder Leong, addressing the topics of Examining ourselves, Contentment, Antithesis and Love for the Church respectively. We thank God for the good speeches, the fruitful discussions and a good time of fellowship. 
Speech by Elder Lim
Discussion groups
Outing - Ninja tag, a game where one has to have a really good aim!
A game of hockey with newspaper sticks
Group shot - fun shot!
 
Lannings' Farewell
Over the second last weekend of December, CERC bid farewell to our dear minister and his family. We Thank God for his service, the friendship and the dedication over the last 5 years. We trust that God will provide for their needs as well as for our needs. 

Psalm 121:8  "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."

Starting of the farewell event
Quiz game to lighten up the mood
The Lannings' family with the cake
Song "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" dedicated to the Lannings'
Final shot at the airport send-off
 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  •www.cerc.org.sg 
 

 
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - December 2017

 

Covenant Reformed News

December 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 20



Three Good Reasons to Honour Christ’s Church

Sadly, in most of conservative Christianity, there is a grievous disinterest in, and an abysmally low view of, the truth of God’s church. Most know little and care less about ecclesiology, the glorious doctrine of the body of Christ. Let me give you three reasons why you and all professing Christians should care about the church.
First, all disrespect and indifference towards the church stands in stark contrast to God’s written revelation. The first 17 books of the Bible, Genesis to Esther, record the history of the church from the salvation of Adam and Eve to the return of God’s people from the Babylonian captivity. The last 17 books of the Old Testament, from Isaiah to Malachi, summarize the prophets’ preaching to the church.
In the 4 gospel accounts, Matthew 16:18-19 declares that the purpose of Christ’s incarnation and redemption is to “build [His] church,” to which He gives “the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Acts records the work of Christ by His Holy Spirit in gathering His holy, catholic or universal church. To whom are the 21 New Testament epistles addressed? Most of them were written in the first instance to churches, congregations in Rome, Galatia, etc. The rest of these letters were addressed to church office-bearers or members, such as Philemon, Gaius (III John), Timothy and Titus. Even the last canonical book, Revelation, was written, first of all, to 7 existing church institutes (Rev. 1:4, 11).
Turning to the specific focus of individual biblical books, we note that the Psalms are the songs of the church. Zechariah emphasizes God’s love and salvation of the church. I Corinthians deals with a host of church problems. Ephesians extols the church as the body of Christ, treating its election (ch. 1), catholicity (ch. 2-3), unity (ch. 4) and holiness (ch. 4-6). The three pastoral epistles (I & II Timothy and Titus) set forth the institutional structure and work of the church. Revelation 2-3 consists of Christ’s commendations, critiques, admonitions and promises to organized churches.
Do you read the books of the Bible? Have you understood the prominence of God’s church upon its pages? As you search the Scriptures in the future, look out for the Bible’s massive theme of ecclesiology. Let us think God’s thoughts after Him and highly esteem the body of His Son!
Second, what about the great sixteenth-century Reformation? Have you ever thought of this question: Of what was it the reformation? It was a reformation, of course, of many things, including preaching, worship, doctrine, etc. But centrally, it was the Reformation of the church! As such, it was the reformation of church preaching, church worship, church doctrine, etc.
Another way of emphasizing this is to consider the greatest theological book of the Reformation: John Calvin’s The Institutes of the Christian Religion. As is well-known, this work is divided into four main parts. These are, roughly speaking, first, God the Father and our creation; second, God the Son and our redemption; third, God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification; and, fourth, the church. This last part of Calvin’s Institutes is way longer than any of the other three. In fact, it forms more than one third of the book. The title of the fourth part of the Institutes gives us Calvin’s perspective on the significance of the truth of the church: “The External Means or Aids by Which God Invites Us Into the Society of Christ and Holds Us Therein.”
If you are a son or daughter of the Reformation and treasure this great work of God, then you cannot be lukewarm towards the truth of Christ’s church. The glory of the Reformation was its reformation of the Lord’s visible churches. Likewise, the calling of reformation in our day is especially that of reforming the churches, by God’s grace.
A third important perspective on the importance of ecclesiology is provided by the Reformed confessions. Here is a thematic analysis of the Belgic Confession’s articles on ecclesiology: the nature of the church (27); joining the church (28); the marks of the church (29); the government and offices of the church (30-31); the order and discipline of the church (32); the sacraments of the church (33), namely, baptism (34) and the Lord’s supper (35); and church and state (36).
Notice, first, that the Belgic Confession is thorough, dealing with the church’s nature, membership, marks, government, offices, order, discipline and sacraments, as well as its relationship to civil government. Flowing from the first point, we observe, second, that the Belgic Confession’s exposition of the doctrine of the church is lengthy. Its treatment of ecclesiology receives 10 articles (27-36), whereas this confession gives 5 articles to soteriology or the doctrine of salvation (22-26). Since the Belgic Confession consists of 37 articles, its treatment of ecclesiology is over a quarter of its articles. In fact, over 27% of the articles of the Belgic Confession (1561) are on the doctrine of the church.
What place does Christ’s church have in our thinking? Tragically, and to their own serious loss, there are those of whom it could be said that the church has only a small place in their hearts and minds and lives. If this had been Jesus Christ’s attitude to the church, He would never have laid down His life for her on the cross in order to cleanse her and glorify her, and to present her to Himself in marriage (Eph. 5:25-27)!
Augustine (354-430) expressed well the Christian’s love for the truth of the church and the true church: “The city of God we speak of is the same to which testimony is borne by that Scripture ... ‘Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.’ And in another psalm we read, ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness, increasing the joy of the whole earth’ ... And in another, ‘There is a river the streams whereof shall make glad the city of our God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.’ From these and similar testimonies ... we have learned that there is a city of God, and its Founder has inspired us with a love which makes us covet its citizenship” (The City of God, 11:1). Let this live in our hearts! Rev. Stewart
 

The Song of Solomon: Canonical and Christocentric

A reader asks, “I am interested in some views on the Song of Solomon. When attending a lecture, the pastor never tired of reminding us from Ephesians 5:22-33 that it was a picture of the love God has for His church, and marriage is a reflection of that love. My question is, What evidence internally from the book itself is there to prove the above view, which I believe is the traditional interpretation?”
A classmate of mine, while we were studying in college, later took the position that the Song of Solomon did not have anything to do with Ephesians 5:22-33. It was not a song depicting the love that is a reality in the love between Christ and His church, nor did it have anything to do with the love between a man and his wife.
When I asked him what he made of the book, he answered, “It is an erotic love song” —with emphasis, I presume, on the word erotic. I do not remember what his answer was when I asked him whether he thought it belonged in the canon of Scripture but, from his later writings, I suspect that he did want to preserve its canonicity—although the purpose of the book in the canon is then difficult to determine.
It is well to remind ourselves what criteria were used by the church to determine which books properly belong in Scripture and which books are apocryphal.
The explanation can be found in Belgic Confession 5, entitled “From Whence the Holy Scriptures Derive Their Dignity and Authority.” The article reads, “We receive all these books, and these only, as holy and canonical, for the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith; believing, without any doubt, all things contained in them, not so much because the church receives and approves of them as such, but more especially because the Holy Ghost witnesseth in our hearts that they are from God, whereof they carry the evidence in themselves. For the very blind are able to perceive that the things foretold in them are fulfilling.”
In a sense, the church has always held that the 66 books we believe are canonical are indeed that. Already in the days of Josiah, when many of the people did not even know there was a Bible, a copy of the book of the law was found in the temple and immediately recognized as God’s Word (II Kings 22:8-23:2).
It is generally accepted that an early Jewish council in Jamnia (c. 90 AD) fixed the Old Testament canon, which decision accords with our Lord who referred to “the law and the prophets.” Almost from the beginning of the post-apostolic era, the church recognized the same books of the New Testament as canonical. A dispute may have swirled around a few books but the church as a whole considered the books in our Bibles, including the Song of Songs, as being truly canonical. The Council of Carthage in 397 AD, for example, ranked the Song of Solomon in the canon.
Belgic Confession 5 speaks of the external evidence and the internal evidence of the canonicity of the 66 books listed in Belgic Confession 4. Interestingly, both the external and internal evidence are the work of the Holy Spirit. He inspired the Scriptures and He works in the hearts of the elect to recognize this. To believe what the Spirit inspired is to believe the whole of Scripture to be from God. The internal testimony of the Spirit in our hearts is by means of the external testimony of the Scriptures themselves.
Here is a human example of this. If my copy of The Institutes of the Christian Religion has on its title page the name John Calvin as the author and the entire book is in keeping with all we know of John Calvin, it is pretty hard to prove to me that he did not write that book. The external evidence is his name on the title page and the internal evidence is that the contents perfectly reflect everything we know of the French Reformer.
I make a point of this because the Bible is an organic unity written by one Author and not just a conglomeration of books written by different authors—as is widely believed today by those who deny Scripture’s verbal inspiration by the Holy Spirit.
I have emphasized that the Song of Solomon has always been part of the canon because what follows from this conviction is the proof for the fact that the Song of Solomon describes in poetry the love between Christ and His church.
Scripture is an organic unity containing only one theme and written by one Author. We may well ask what that theme is. The answer is: The mighty work of God in Jesus Christ through whom God saves an elect church to live in covenant fellowship with Him to His everlasting praise and glory.
When I taught in the seminary, I often used the figure of the Bible being a portrait of Jesus Christ, who is the revelation of God. Every book of Scripture is a part of that portrait. My own teacher while I was a student in seminary told us that, before we began to write out our sermons, we should put a cross on the upper right hand corner of page 1 to remind ourselves that we must preach Christ crucified or we are not preaching the Word of God. Christ must not be tacked on to the sermon once in a while; He must not be “presupposed,” that is, simply assumed to be behind what is said. We must follow the example of Paul, who wrote, “we preach Christ crucified” (I Cor. 1:23). That is all we ever preach. Scripture is the full story of all God’s mighty works in Jesus Christ. So it is with the narratives; so it is with the exhortations; so it is with the poetry; so it is even with Genesis 1-11. Let no one think that he will never have enough to preach on, if he takes the position that every word speaks of Christ crucified. God’s works are infinite in their number and marvellous in their richness.
Put all that together and one has proof, irrefutable proof, of the fact that the Song of Solomon is a song that celebrates the union of Christ and His beloved church. Even the church in the old dispensation recognized that in this remarkable Song of Songs. The portrait of Christ in the Holy Scriptures would be impoverished if the Song of Solomon were not part of the canon. Prof. Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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Ballymena Lecture

Living Wisely in a Digital Age

 This very practical speech will address a serious concern in our day: the attachment of many young people (and adults!) to their phones and digital devices. Is this healthy? Does this serve real flesh-and-blood or face-to-face contact? How does this affect family life and the friendships of Christian youth?  What of their church life and the communion of the saints? What of the dangers of pornography? 

Speaker:
Rev. Nathan Decker
(Michigan, USA)

Wednesday, 24 January 
at 7:45 PM

Venue:
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

(83 Clarence Street,
Ballymena BT43 5DR)

All are welcome! 

www.cprc.co.uk

Rev. Decker will also preach at both Lord’s Day services on 21 January
The sermons and lecture will be streamed live 
at www.cprf.co.uk/live.html
 

South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 25 January
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Subject:
God's Saving Will in the New Testament
 
What does the New Testament say about what God wishes, wills, desires or wants? Does He ever desire anything He does not get? Does He ever want anything He decrees will not happen? How do Gods’ eternity, unchangeability and omnipotence fit  with His wishes? And what does all this say about Christ and His cross?

NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
Bound to Join: Letters on Church Membership
by David J. Engelsma
(184 pp., hardback) 

Some professing Christians deny the necessity of church membership. Others join a church for unsubstantial reasons or leave a church for trivial, often selfish, reasons. Many remain members of apostatizing churches because of family or traditional ties. Some Christians find themselves in countries or areas where no true church exists or can be formed. They ask, sometimes in anguish, “What must we do?” In the form of letters to an inquiring (though not always appreciative) European audience, this book addresses the issue of church membership in the twenty-first century.  This instruction is applicable to all believers and is based on Scripture, the Belgic Confession (1561) and the important, but little known, controversy of John Calvin with the Nicodemites.
 
£8.80 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
.
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!

Church Authority

5 classes on Belgic Confession 32 (Vol. XXIV)
on CD in a box set


Many today have never heard of church authority or think it a subject of little value. But if a congregation or denomination does not know and practise this biblical truth, it is headed for disaster! Listen to these eye-opening classes and marvel at the biblical and Reformed teaching on the church’s ministerial exercise of Christ’s authority for the edification and not the destruction of the saints.

(1) Church Authority (Matt. 28:9-20)
(2) Church Authority: Source and Parties (Isa. 9:1-7)
(3) The Nature of Church Authority (II Cor. 10)
(4) The Standard of Church Authority (Col. 2:4-23)
(5) Church Authority: Ecclesiastical Laws and Discipline (II Cor. 13)

£6/box set (inc. P&P)

LIsten free on-line
or order from the
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
Read more...

Covenant PRC, N.Ireland Newsletter - December 2017

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI
18 December, 2017

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Visit of the Engelsmas

DREngelsma 2017We greatly enjoyed the visit of Prof. and Mrs. Engelsma (19 October-6 November). The CPRC invited them for two main reasons. First, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and our congregation wanted to celebrate this wonderful occasion. Prof. Engelsma is a man who embodies the Reformation, so we asked him to give lectures on this great theme and preach in the CPRC. Second, the latter enabled me to fill the pulpit of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF), while Rev. McGeown was in America speaking at Reformation conferences in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Loveland, Colorado.

Our Reformation commemorations began with a half-day conference on Saturday, 21 October. Prof. spoke powerfully on “Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God” and “Justification in Paul and in James,” while the ladies served a lovely lunch between the two speeches. Carolyn and Erik Prins (Trinity PRC) were present, as were three friends from Wales and a brother from England, plus local visitors.

Prof. Engelsma's other lectures dealt with key figures and truths of the Reformation: “Martin Luther: Man of Conviction” (Friday, 27 October) and “Calvin's Doctrine of the Covenant” (Friday, 3 November).

The 6 Sunday sermons by Prof. Engelsma also addressed vital Reformation subjects. All of his 10 public speeches are online on audio and video, with the latter including some question-and-answer sessions. They were made into an attractive box set of DVDs or CDs. It is available for £10 in the UK and $20 in the US (inc. P&P).

Ref500 lecture CPRC NI

We paid for advertisements twice in the Belfast News Letter and the Ballymena Guardian. The latter paper also published two articles about Prof. Engelsma's visit. The saints in the CPRC were very encouraged by our brother's labours in our midst. A good number joined us live online, and his videos have received a lot of attention.

Internet Witness

The CPRC now has over 2,000 videos on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/CPRCNI). Very appropriately for a congregation that is called the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, our 2,000th video was Prof. Engelsma's lecture on “Calvin's Doctrine of the Covenant.” Our thanks to Stephen Murray, our audio-visual man, for his labour of putting the videos online every week for many years. It is working too, for we have now had over 1/4 million video watches on our YouTube channel.

Over 3,000 people have subscribed to the CPRC Facebook page. Though this is hardly what Mark Zuckerberg intended, it has helped us get out the Reformed faith and reach new translators.

In our online languages section, Hungarian saw the biggest growth in the last two months, thanks to Bálint Vásárhelyi and Tibor Bognár. With their 10 recent written translations, we now have 216 pieces in Hungarian (www.cprf.co.uk/languages/hungarian.html). We also added a second sermon video with Hungarian subtitles: “The Sovereignty of God (II).” Now we have 27 videos in 4 foreign languages: Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, and French (www.youtube.com). We added 3 more Russian pieces, including material from Prof. Engelsma's Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel, and 3 Danish pieces, thanks to a faithful pastor from Denmark. A brother in India translated “Knowing the True God,” a pamphlet by Rev. Houck, into Hindi. Is this the first Protestant Reformed writing online in Hindi?

Varia

The CPRC has used various means to honour the work of Jesus Christ through the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. These include Prof. Engelsma's excellent Reformation speeches, letters in the local press, five installments on “What Is a Protestant?” in the Covenant Reformed News and a 12-sermon series on the great Reformation truth of “Righteousness by Faith Alone” (Rom. 4).

Other recent writings on this subject include “The Reformation and the Nature of the Church” for the Standard Bearer, “Martin and Katie Luther: A Reformation Marriage” for the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal, and “Martin Luther and God's Saving Righteousness” for the British Reformed Journal.

I spoke on “Martin Luther's Great Discovery” for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship on Saturday, 28 October. An encouraging number attended, including some people we had never seen before, and we had a good question session afterwards. At this meeting in Limerick and at Prof. Engelsma's lectures, we sold books, and CD and DVD box sets at reduced prices.

In order to promote the Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) in the British Isles, we posted RWH booklets along with the Covenant Reformed News. The RWH gave us these spare copies for free and we waited until we had gotten enough of them across the Atlantic before mailing them with the News. Hopefully, more people will tune in to the RWH radio programme that we sponsor and that is broadcast from outside Londonderry in Northern Ireland on Sunday mornings (8:30-9:00 A.M. on Radio North/Gospel 846 AM or MW) or go to their website (www.reformedwitnesshour.org).

The British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) conference on “The Reformed Family— According to the Word of God” (21-28 July, 2018) is drawing nearer. Booking forms, including prices, are (or very soon will be) online (www.britishreformed.org). You are all very warmly invited to join us at Hebron Hall in South Wales. Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning will be our main speakers. It promises to be a rich time of fellowship and growth under the Word of God.

Thank you for your support and prayers, and for your cards. Our covenant “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love” (Heb. 6:10). May the Lord be with you all!

In Christ,
Rev. Angus & Mary Stewart

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  • Reading Sermon Library
  • Taped Sermon Library

Synodical Officers

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Synodical Committees

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  • Emeritus Committee
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Contact/Missions

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Classical Officers

Classis East
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Classis West
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